Timor-Leste Immersion Program



In recent years, Damascus College has been consolidating its relationship with Timor-Leste (East Timor).

In 2011, Damascus ran its inaugural Immersion Program to Timor-Leste for a group of Year 11 students. In June 2012, seven students took part in the second annual Immersion Program along with three staff members. In 2013, a further nine students and three staff members ventured to Timor Leste and in 2014 a further ten students and three staff visited Ainaro. In 2015, 14 students and four staff, the largest group so far crossed the Timor Strait.  In 2016, 15 students and four staff members became the sixth group and in June 2017 a group of 11 students and four staff have recently returned.

Students wishing to take part in the program apply during Term 3 of the preceding year and once accepted, commence planning and fundraising for the following year. Each year the Timor Leste immersion students have raised over $10,000 which was then donated to various organisations within Timor Leste. On each occasion, our sister school in Ainaro, Santa Maria College, was the major beneficiary.

The goals of the Timor-Leste Immersion experience include consideration of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Human Dignity, Community and the Common Good, Rights and Responsibilities, Options for the poor and vulnerable, Participation, Dignity of work and Rights of Workers, Stewardship of Creation, Solidarity, the Role of Government and the Promotion of Peace.

An Immersion Program to Ainaro for Year 11 Damascus College students is being planned for June 2018.


History of Damascus College Sister School Relationship 

Through the Ballarat Friends of Ainaro Community Committee Sister School Program, Damascus College was linked with a school in East Timor in 2005. As a result, Damascus College formed a sister school relationship with Santa Maria College in Ainaro. Damascus now conducts an annual Immersion Program to East Timor for Year 11 students each June.


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